Inside Track on Music Row

September 2016

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: ‘Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and him and spiritual songs. – Colossians (3:16)


The 10TH ACM Honors™ is an evening dedicated to celebrating the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 51ST Academy of Country Music Awards. Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban will take the stage at the 10TH ANNUAL ACM HONORS™ for a special tribute to Glen Campbell, who as previously announced will be honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award. The country music luminaries will perform an all-star medley of Campbell’s greatest hits, culminating to an ensemble performance of the iconic “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Kim Campbell will accept the award on behalf of her husband of 35 years. Other scheduled performers are: Alicia Keys, Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, DAN + SHAY and The Band Perry. Mike Fisher, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett and more will present at the Gala. Hosted by multi-ACM Award-winning group Lady Antebellum, the two-hour special was taped at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, and will make its television debut on Friday, September 9 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. For more info on the Academy of Country Music and the ACM Honors, visit


As Thomas Rhett’s sophomore release TANGLED UP (The Valory Music Co.) has earned PLATINUM certification by the RIAA. On August 20, before his set as direct support on Jason Aldean’s SIX STRING CIRCUS TOUR in Irvine, CA, Rhett was surprised backstage by his team and friends with news of the new benchmark. “It’s crazy to think about all the fans who are taking this journey with me and are helping make things like this happen,” said Rhett. “I’ve had an amazing year already, but finding out that the album went Platinum is one of the coolest moments so far.” Tour dates and appearances at


The AMA has its 17th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, September 20-25, 2016. The AMA receives enormous support from the Tennessee Dept. of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Music City Networks, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange, and AT&T. The Americana Music Association announced this year’s slate of more than 50 panels and workshops with approximately 200 experts representing the best and the brightest in the music business. This year’s Conference will offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to hear from artists who have shaped musical history – including Bob Weir, Jody Stephens, Wanda Jackson and a special presentation by Del McCoury on the legendary Woody Guthrie — and from those currently making history, like Margot Price John Paul White, and Lori McKenna. The AMA will present Including A Rare Performance and Q&A with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead. Programming Highlights Include Dwight Yoakam, T Bone Burnett and Jonathan Taplin, Margo Price & Friends, Del McCoury, John Paul White, John Moreland, William Bell, Timothy B. Schmit, Rodney Crowell, Muddy Magnolias, Sarah Jarosz, The Secret Sisters, Travelin’ McCourys, Syd Straw, Dan Layus, Erin Rae & The Meanwhiles, & Sam Bush. The Americana Honors & Awards Show will take place September 21st at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Festival Wristbands Only $60 and Conference Registrations $325 – $425. More info at


Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta and Justin Moore celebrate Kinda Don’t Care with #1 Waffles at Waffle House® in Indianapolis
Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta and Justin Moore celebrate Kinda Don’t Care with #1 Waffles at Waffle House® in Indianapolis

Justin Moore has much to celebrate as his fourth studio album KINDA DON’T CARE (The Valory Music Co.) notched the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The project features his newly minted Top 5 single “You Look Like I Need A Drink” and also earned the singer his fourth Top 10 All Genre debut, landing at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Moore has been celebrating after each recent show on his TAKE IT OUTSIDE tour by cooking up some of his favorite dishes at Waffle House® locations in each market. Tour dates and more at


Jennifer Nettles stretched out musically and pushed herself on her latest album, PLAYING WITH FIRE (BMLG), but it was more of a byproduct of trying to be authentic. She says, “I’m always pushing myself as a person, and the way that art then imitates life and specifically my art and my life, because of that, I would say that, yes, I pushed myself in ways. But really, what I wanted to do was keep myself open to be even more and more authentic on this record and to share and talk about the themes that are happening in my life.” More at


September ALBUM Releases are as follows:

  • Billy Ray Cyrus/Thin Line/Blue Cadillac
  • Waylon Jennings/The Lost Nashville Sessions /Country Rewind Records
  • Jason Aldean/They Don’t Know/Broken Bow Records
  • The Time Jumpers/Kid Sister/Rounder Records
  • Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris/The Complete Trio Collection [re-released/remastered 3-discs]
  • Ryan Follese/Ryan Follese [EP]/BMLG Records
  • Chely Wright/I Am The Rain/MRI-Sony
  • Jack White/Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016/Third Man Records-Columbia
  • Paper Bird/Paper Bird/Sons of Thunder Records-Thirty Tigers


Thomas Rhett Charity Concert, October 4
Thomas Rhett Charity Concert, October 4

Thomas Rhett will host his first-ever charity concert event THOMAS RHETT & FRIENDS on Oct. 4th benefitting 147 Million Orphans at Nashville’s The Old School. The night will be filled with intimate acoustic performances in an outdoor barn setting by Thomas Rhett and first announced special guest multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley as well as newcomer Walker Hayes and Grammy award-winning songwriter/producer Shane McAnally. 147 Million Orphans was established in 2009 to provide food, water, medicine, shelter, & education to vulnerable children in the name of Jesus, so that they may thrive through sustainable care. More at or


Jason Aldean will bring new music off his upcoming seventh studio album THEY DON’T KNOW (Broken Bow Records), available Sept. 9, to Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series this Friday (8/26 on ABC at 8:00A). Live from Central Park, Aldean will be the final guest on the morning show’s Country music themed week with multiple performances including his new single “A Little More Summertime” along with some of his biggest hits.


The Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum and the Country Music Association (CMA) will partner to host Forever Country Live presented by Southwest Airlines®, a FREE concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of both the museum’s opening and the CMA Awards (Family activities start at 3pm). The community event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville, with performances by Warner Bros. recording artist Charlie Worsham and Grammy-nominated ensemble The Time Jumpers, featuring Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, “Ranger Doug” Green and Paul Franklin. Past CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Patty Loveless will join The Time Jumpers for a special appearance. Follow countrymusichoffame on Facebook.


Dolly Parton is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®’s latest Spotlight Music artist. The legendary singer exclusively released a deluxe version of her new album Pure & Simple in Cracker Barrel stores nationwide and online at This deluxe offering of Pure & Simple features 10 new tracks inspired by Parton’s East Tennessee roots. The album is complemented by several pieces of content exclusive to Cracker Barrel, including two versions of the singer’s chart-topping hits “Jolene” and “9 to 5” recorded live at Glastonbury Festival and a 48-page magazine filled with photos and interviews highlighting memorable stories from Parton. The deluxe edition also includes coupons to various Parton attractions. NOTE: Dolly Parton, who released her 43rd studio album, Pure & Simple, a disc of 10 new songs, also announced the exclusive Walmart 2 CD package which includes Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits available now.


Singer-songwriter Marty Brown
Singer-songwriter Marty Brown

Veteran singer-songwriter and former ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist Marty Brown knows how to make an appearance. On August 29, he played the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville – at a Sheriff’s Convention! Never one to miss an opportunity, the unique entertainer turned it into an industry showcase, inviting some of Nashville’s movers and shakers to see him tear the place up – figuratively speaking – fronting a band of top-ranked touring musicians, all with 20+ years’ experience backing superstar artists. The Wildhorse date was just one stop on his current tour that will take him back to his hometown of Owensboro, KY, on September 23. Tour dates, bio, merch and more at


Artists and songwriters paid tribute to songwriter Lance Miller at Warner/Chappell’s ‘Everybody Loves Lance’ songwriter series event. Warner/Chappell Music signed the hit songwriter and 2014 SESAC Song of the Year winner (for his co-write on Jerrod Niemann’s “Drink To That All Night”) to a worldwide co-publishing agreement in 2015. He also has writing credits on Lee Brice’s “Beautiful Every Time”, Thomas Rhett’s “Beer With Jesus”, Michael Ray’s “Real Men Love Jesus,” Jerrod Niemann’s “Shinin’ On Me” among others.


Brandy Clark's Big Day in a Small Town
Brandy Clark’s Big Day in a Small Town

It’s a long way from her hometown of Morton, Wash., but Brandy Clark returns to the U.K. in September for a series of acoustic shows with an entire new album, Big Day in a Small Town, to play live. “We played London and Dublin as part of C2C in 2015 and while we were over there we also got to do a show in Glasgow,” said Clark. “I’ve been waiting to go back ever since!” Having recently been on the road with Jennifer Nettles on the CMT Next Women of Country Tour, the singer/songwriter has also toured with Eric Church and Alan Jackson during the last two years in addition to solo shows. For upcoming tour dates, visit


(Dot Records) Drake White proved he’s “Livin’ The Dream” as he appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America recently. Drake performed the Top 25-and-rising single from his new album on Dot Records. Upon release, SPARK blazed up to #1 on the iTunes Top Country Albums chart with a collection of heartwarming lyrics and swampy grooves. A few days later, the Alabama native departed on a cross-country adventure to highlight his charitable initiative, “Flight to Light the Spark.” Drake will make stops in each time zone to give back to local communities and fuel change across the country. Drake is currently on the road on Zac Brown Band’s BLACK OUT THE SUN TOUR and will join Dierks Bentley’s SOMEWHERE ON A BEACH TOUR later this fall. For more dates, visit


Photo from the set of Eric Church's "Record Year" music video (Directors: John Peets and Reid Long)
Photo from the set of Eric Church’s “Record Year” music video (Directors: John Peets and Reid Long)

Eric Church’s second single off Mr. Misunderstood hit No. 1 just in time for fans to celebrate his seventh summit to the top of both MediaBase and Billboard charts. “Record Year” was co-written by Church and his guitarist/banjo player, Jeff Hyde – who also penned “Cold One” (with Luke Hutton), “Springsteen” (with Ryan Tyndell), and “Smoke A Little Smoke” (with Driver Williams) – and outlines a story of a heartbroken music-lover finding consolation in the records of some of music’s greatest masterminds. Fan loyalty has always meant a lot to the seven-time GRAMMY nominee, ACM and CMA-award winning singer/songwriter, which was made obvious when he directly shipped copies of Mr. Misunderstood on vinyl to his Church Choir before making it available to the general public. Tour updates at


the_journey_home_project_fundraiser_-_nashville_tn__1_20141006_1492152893Charlie Daniels and Middle Tennessee State University’s lengthy association continue to make amazing strides. With the unveiling of a plaque and a new logo for MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center named for them, MTSU formally recognized the couple and The Journey Home Project he co-founded to assist veterans during a celebration at the Miller Education Center. Daniels and his wife, who have been married 52 years, were humbled and moved by MTSU’s recognition. Tutoring assistance, VetSuccess on Campus and more are part of the center’s offerings. The center staff features five full-time staff, including a mental health counselor and more than 12 part-time student-veterans. To learn more, visit NOTE: Charlie’s new album, NIGHT HAWK, pays homage to his favorite cowboy songs. It offers a collection of both familiar and obscure songs, each given the unique Charlie Daniels vocal treatment. Some feature Daniels on acoustic guitar, others get new instrumentation. The ten tracks include “Billy the Kid,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” “Old Chisholm Trail” and “Yippie Ki Yea.” Album details and tour tickets at


Hillary Scott & The Scott Family topped the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart and secured the No. two position on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart with the critically acclaimed debut album LOVE REMAINS (EMI Nashville), after moving over 31,000 units in its first week. Its lead single “Thy Will” also claimed the No. One position on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs for the second week while dominating Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs for its eighth consecutive week. Hillary Scott is one-third of the one of the world’s most popular groups, Lady Antebellum. Album info and more at


Songwriter Jon Nite
Songwriter Jon Nite

BMI and ASCAP came together with UMG Records (Capital) to celebrate Keith Urban’s 20th Number One song “Break On Me.” Co-written by Jon Nite and Ross Copperman. Produced by Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift), the song spent two weeks at the Number One spot, and is the second single from the album “Ripcord.” This was a worldwide chart milestone: No other male country artist has had a number one record in the US, Canada and Australia for the same song at the same time.

Songwriter Ross Copperman
Songwriter Ross Copperman

“Break On Me” is Keith’s 36 consecutive top 10 record… another Milestone! Cool Facts: This was Ross’s tenth #1 and he was ACM’s 2016 Songwriter of the year. He currently has 7 songs on Billboard’s country chart. Jon Nite celebrated his sixth # 1. Jon won a CMA ‘triple play’ last year and has been nominated for CMA and ACM Awards for the past 4 years. He also co-wrote Keith Urban’s previous smash hit “We Were Us.”


Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean continues to find new ways to raise awareness for breast cancer research, and for the first time in his career he partners with the Grand Ole Opry and incorporates his 11th annual “Concert for the Cure” as part of the eighth annual “Opry Goes Pink,” the annual special performance staged to fight breast cancer. In addition to flipping the switch on the Opry’s signature barn backdrop, turning it pink for the Grand Ole Opry’s two shows on Tuesday, October 25, Aldean will take the stage to perform along with other favorites and raise awareness and funds for Women Rock for the Cure™ and Susan G. Komen®’s Nashville Chapter. A host of artists joining Aldean for the Opry shows will be announced soon. Tickets are available at


Rascal Flatts
Rascal Flatts

Known as one of the hottest-selling “Road” touring acts in any genre, superstar trio Rascal Flatts celebrated in August a major milestone of 10 million tickets sold, following a rousing run of headlining shows. The group was presented with a commemorative ticket at their show in Hartford, CT, to recognize the occasion. Rascal Flatts is currently out on the road as part of their headlining RHYTHM AND ROOTS TOUR. The best-selling country vocal group of the past decade Rascal Flatts has sold over 23.1 million albums, over 31 million digital downloads worldwide, as well as earning over 40 trophies from the ACAs, ACMs, AMAs, CMAs, People’s Choice Awards and more, also making them the most awarded country group of the past decade. Tour updates at


Here are a few of the singles dropping in the next week: Alan Turner “Windows And Mirrors”, Carrie Underwood “Dirty Laundry”, Chris Lane “For Her”, The Hobbs Sisters “Boomerang” , Darrell Ryan “Not Enough Town”, Ellie May Kay “Girl With A Fishing Rod” and The Tacketts “And I Know.”


Old Dominion L to R: Whit Sellers, Brad Tursi, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung
Old Dominion
L to R: Whit Sellers, Brad Tursi, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung

Old Dominion, a road-built band who has performed more than 200 dates over the last calendar year, surprised fans with the announcement of 30+ new shows coast-to-coast on their fall Meat and Candy Tour with special guest Steve Moakler. Fifteen of the 2016 dates will be billed as the Stagecoach Spotlight: Old Dominion Meat and Candy Tour, as the five-piece band is the first act selected by producers of the world-famous Stagecoach Festival for the inaugural Stagecoach Spotlight Tour. For more information, visit



Bailey Callahan, Brett Eldredge, Blane Howard, Kane Brown, Lindsey Harding, Dave & Whitney, Tyler Farr and Seth Ennis.

The “I” in ROI for songwriters

The difference between a hobby and a career

Preshias music notes graphic crop pink purpleROI stands for Return on Investment. To put it another way, it means what you get out from what you put in. You might think that a phrase like ROI is only relevant to stockbrokers and bankers but it definitely affects you as a songwriter or artist.

There’s a difference between  songwriting as a hobby and songwriting as a  a career. Here’s a way to look at the difference:

  • When you do something you don’t particularly enjoy and you get paid for it… that’s a job.
  • When you do something you love but you don’t get paid… that’s a hobby.
  • When you do something you love and you DO get paid… that’s a CAREER.

Can you see the difference? Your career is music, because that’s what you love, but it’s only a career when it provides some sort of income for you, otherwise it’s just a hobby. Yes, songwriting, for most people, begins as a part-time career, often supplementing the dreaded ‘job,’ but it is still your career, if you choose to make it so.

It takes more than talent

To have any kind of success in that career, it takes a commitment to invest in your God-given talent. Your talent is the raw material, the lump of clay, the pile of bricks. What you choose to do with that raw material is the element that determines your success.

“Effort without talent is a depressing situation, but talent without effort is a tragedy.” – Mike Ditka

I wish I could tell you that you can make it to the top on nothing but talent, but I can’t because it flat-out isn’t going to happen. Talent alone is not enough; it’s just the beginning.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a disgruntled parent say, “My son/daughter has much more talent than [insert star’s name here]. How come they made it and my kid can’t?”

A variation on that is the songwriter who is consumed with envy for “that lucky guy” who is getting all the cuts on the top acts.

Lucky? Okay, I’ll admit that sometimes luck does play a part in success. But one thing is certain: The better prepared you are, the luckier you’ll get.

There’s almost no such thing as an overnight success, at least not one that lasts longer than a flash in the pan. That “lucky” person, that “overnight success” had almost certainly invested in their talent so that when the opportunity presented itself, they were prepared and were able to confidently take full advantage of the situation.

Invest in your talent

As you develop your career as a songwriter, you will need to commit to making an investment in your talent. It’s an investment in both time and money, but the part to always keep in mind is the ROI… the return that you will reap on that investment of time and money in your career.

Make a commitment to go to Writers’ Nights, network with other writers, ask questions, read books, take classes, set up co-writing sessions and write, write, write!

15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear (From People Who Know What They’re Talking About)

The difference between a dream and reality

(Note from Preshias: This is a ‘guest post’ from Adam Bernard, a New York-based music journalist. The article was originally posted at and you can read the original article in full here. See the foot of this post for links to more of Adam’s articles)

Music jounalist Adam Bernard
Music jounalist Adam Bernard

Young artists bring a lot of raw talent to the table, but they also bring a naiveté about the music industry that cannot only make their lives difficult, but can totally derail a career.

While there’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, it’s imperative to realize there’s a huge difference between a dream and reality. A young artist may have visions of signing a big contract and the world being at his or her feet, but if that’s what an artist believes to be the truth, a reality check is necessary.

In order to get a clear picture of that reality check, I spoke with 12 professionals in the industry, including publicists, artists, an artist management team, and a label owner who also runs a recording studio, all of whom have worked with young artists. They broke down the reality checks all young artists need to hear.

  1. Talent does not equate to success

“To save yourself a lot of headache and heartache, please begin repeating to yourself now that your talent is not a direct correlation to your success – your effort and marketing are. My mom makes an amazing jar of homemade peanut butter, but without being marketed, how would she ever expect to compete with Jif or Skippy?” – Jake Palumbo, founder of SpaceLAB Recordings and SpaceLAB Recording Studios

  1. Each step you take will require more work

“The second you hire a manager, a publicist, a team, that means you have to work 10 times harder than ever.” – Jen Appel, The Catalyst Publicity Group

  1. Your career growth will take time

“A lot of young artists are misled into thinking that things happen more quickly than they do in reality. They’ll look at the near-vertical ascents of, say, Kreayshawn, or Kamaiyah, or Desiigner, and not realize that those artists are the exceptions, not the rule. Yes, every year there are a small number of artists that break extraordinarily quickly, but for every one of those, there are 100 artists that are growing organically at a slower and steady rate, and that’s totally okay, too.” – Michelle McDevitt, Audible Treats

  1. Actually, everything will take time

“It takes a lot of effort, supportive friends and family, and a world of confidence to make it. Not the confidence that you are bigger and better and deserve everything handed to you, but the confidence that you are patient enough to try everything.” – Jen Appel

“My biggest reality check as a young artist who is now entering the music industry is that everything takes time, and nothing happens overnight. Sometimes the industry likes to portray certain artists as if they just blew up out of nowhere, when the truth is that hard work and dedication lead to success.” – Johnny Based (age 17) of the hip-hop group RAAA (Rebellious Against All Ahead)

  1. You need a plan when releasing music

“Countless young artists will leave our studio, convinced they’ve made a hit, saying, ‘We’re about to drop this tonight!’ as they rush out the door, not realizing that to truly ‘drop a record’ involves a lot more than uploading it to your SoundCloud and sharing the link on Facebook and Instagram. There’s a lot of preparation, timing, prep work, targeted advertisement, and, frankly, money involved in making sure a record reaches ears that may be interested in hearing it.” – Jake Palumbo

“Because they’re kids, and they’ve never really worked in the real world, they have unrealistic expectations for how long things take to get done professionally or the right way. They’re young, so they’re very impatient, and they’re growing up in a hyper-instant gratification world with all the social media platforms where everything is out there in a second on Snapchat, which definitely adds to their sense of urgency to throw stuff out there before it’s really ready.” – Tiffany A. Wentz (Wentz Entertainment Group, LLC) and Richard Laurent (Laurent Enterprises, Inc.), co-managers of RAAA

“The biggest reality check about the industry that I’ve experienced is how crucial it is to make and release music at a certain time. I had always imagined that artists just create music and send it out to the world to hear, but now I realize things are much more complex than that.” – David Lee (age 17) of the hip-hop group RAAA

  1. You have to learn the business side of music

“It’s been a bit of a wake-up call for me realizing that you have to have a really clever business model of your own to get your stuff out there. As an artist, I don’t enjoy the business side that much; I just want to create. I am starting to enjoy [the business side] more, though, as it is forcing me to brand myself, and explore things about myself as an artist that I normally would not.” – Brooke Moriber, singer who started as a child actor on Broadway

“Nowadays you have to be more than an artist. With social media and so many other platforms out there for us to brand ourselves, it comes to a point where we are 100 percent involved in how our image is portrayed.” – Ceddyjay (age 17) of the hip-hop group RAAA

  1. If you want respect, you have to show respect

“There is a certain way to act and treat others around you. Whether it be your fans, your team, the media, agents, or even labels, nobody owes you anything. You should be grateful for any support you receive, and appreciative of the opportunities offered. Talent alone will not sell itself, and especially as a young artist trying to make it in the industry, an inflated ego is your worst enemy. You have to work hard, and give respect to earn respect.” – Stephanie Maksimow, The Catalyst Publicity Group

  1. Cash rules everything around you

“Young artists typically have little to no concept of the value of a dollar. Not only do they lack even a cursory understanding of how exactly their talent is converted into currency, they don’t have any understanding or appreciation for how much it costs to maintain a career in music. Often, young artists will receive advances – which are likely to be dreadfully stingy as is – and then promptly blow all that money on creature comforts and non-necessities. Artists with poor finance skills leave themselves wide open to be taken advantage of.” – Andrew Wetzel, drummer for Nine Shrines

  1. You need to connect with people on a real level

“Nobody owes you anything because you sound and/or look appealing. Give the audience a reason to want to connect with you.” – Rick Eberle, Rick Eberle Public Relations

  1. Your small fanbase can play a big role in your career

“I think [young artists] tend to overlook the importance of nurturing the small fanbase that they do have, and converting those supporters into diehard fans for life. [Instead], they’re constantly looking for the next quick scheme to get in the game – pay-to-play, fake followers, etc.” – Jake Palumbo

  1. You have a limited number of places where you can perform

“A lot of venues won’t allow underage artists to perform, so you have to get creative about where and how to create performance opportunities, whether that’s at private parties/backyards, high schools, community centers, warehouse spaces that don’t have liquor licenses, busking, etc.” – Tiffany A. Wentz and Richard Laurent

  1. Staying at home is not an option

“I didn’t realize how much traveling outside of touring you need to do in order to make and keep up the connections you need. I am a native New Yorker, and always thought the industry was mostly here, but it seems to have shifted a lot to Nashville and LA, so I have been traveling back and forth a lot.” – Brooke Moriber

  1. You need to have your own identity

“You break yourself into this wild industry by being creative and never giving up – by being different, and offering a brand and style that is undeniable.” – Jen Appel

  1. You need great songs

“The internet has made it easy to gain followers and create hype, but you still need to be able to write great songs and/or perform them.” – Rick Eberle

  1. There are no magical “right people”

“I need young artists to understand that the idea of merely being ‘heard by the right people’ to get your way in is a myth… as is the notion that paying to open up for famous artists, paying for fluff showcases with ‘industry judges,’ or merely bumping into a famous artist out and about somewhere will skip them to the front of the line.” – Jake Palumbo


After reading these reality checks, some young artists may now think their music industry dreams are over. However, while the dream of signing a deal, instantly being famous, and having a stress-free life is no more, if your dream is to be a recording artist, knowing these realities will only help you towards your goal.

Adam Bernard is a music industry veteran who has been working in media since 2000. If you live in the NYC area, you’ve probably seen him at a show. He prefers his venues intimate, his whiskey on the rocks, and his baseball played without the DH. Follow him at @adamsworldblog. You can follow ‘Adam’s World’ at


Why songwriters are like Realtors®… or should be

Networking: the key to success

Preshias guitar strings 002Oddly enough, starting out on a career as a songwriter is somewhat similar to starting out to become a Realtor. Yes I know that sounds strange, but bear with me here.

A Realtor has a lot to learn, particularly at the outset. There are books to read, seminars to attend and legal aspects to become familiar with if she intends to be knowledgeable and stay out of trouble. In fact, successful Realtors never stop learning. They invest in classes to keep themselves up-to-date on developments in their industry and take advance training, such as attaining a GRI [Graduate of the Realtor Institute] designation. They learn about real estate law so they can communicate knowledgeably with lawyers when necessary.

But that’s not all. For the most part they are independent contractors… essentially self-employed even if they are affiliated with a brokerage. As such, they pay to promote themselves and their listings and realize that in some cases a particular promotion doesn’t result in a sale but another one will, so the investment makes sense.

The power of networking

Furthermore, Realtors don’t work in a vacuum. They may be independent contractors, but they rarely work alone. Quite often, they “co-broke” a listing, working with another agent to put a buyer and seller together and then share the resulting commission. Both of them share in the success.

If you know any successful Realtors, you know they are masters at networking! They constantly stay in touch with other Realtors, belong to associations where they can socialize with their peers and pick up tips from other successful colleagues.

It is not unusual for a successful Realtor to be earning a six-figure income (or more) after a few years. But at first, that Realtor puts in long hours studying, learning, honing skills, networking… investing in his or her future.

A songwriter – to be successful – follows a similar path as that Realtor. By now, I hope you’re seeing what I mean.

You, the songwriter, have talent and know that songwriting (and maybe performing) is your vocation. Now you begin to invest in your future, putting your talent to work.

There are many aspects of the music business about which you must educate yourself if you are to be successful. You need to know how to protect your creative work and make money from it. You need to understand royalties and how licensing works. You need to be familiar with at least the basics of how the Law affects your rights and obligations. No, you do not need to be an expert on Music Law. But you need to understand how it works and when you need to seek professional advice.

You realize that networking with other writers and artists feeds your creativity and exposes you to the skills and knowledge of those in your field who are more experienced. You attend Writers’ Nights and join professional organizations such as NSAI. And like the Realtors who increase their success by co-broking, you advance you career by co-writing with others.

Plays well with others

Realtors, to a large degree, are in competition with each other. But successful Realtors know the importance of building relationships with other agents, working with them, learning from them.

As an aspiring songwriter, go to Writers’ Nights, meet up with other songwriters, ask to write with those with whom you feel a creative connection; listen and learn! Every one of those networking experiences will add to your skill set and advance your career in some small way. Other writers will get to know you, you’ll get to know them and you’ll get to know the people they know.

Make a commitment to networking and learning everything you can about your chosen craft.

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